Radhamohan, proponent of organic farming, passes away


Radhamohan, one of the great proponents of organic farming and Padma Shri awardee, passed away here on Friday.

He was 78 and is survived by three daughters. He was treated in a private hospital after being diagnosed with pneumonia for the past several days.

Professor Radhamohan, first Information Commissioner of the State, was a professor of Economics. Later, he practised sustainable agriculture.

Conversion of barren land

He, along with daughter Sabarmatee, had turned 90 acres of barren wasteland into lush green forest, orchard and agriculture field in Odishaโ€™s Nayagarh district. They had successfully experimented as to how nature could take care of itself if left untouched.

President Ram Nath Kovind, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik paid their tributes to Professor Radhamohan.

Mr. Kovind tweeted, โ€œProf Radhamohan was as inspiring an economist as an environmentalist. A profound scholar, he turned to organic farming to enrich nature and humanity. His demise will leave a voidโ€.

Mr. Modi said in a tweet, โ€œProf Radhamohan Ji was deeply passionate about agriculture, especially adopting sustainable and organic practices. He was also respected for his knowledge on subjects relating to the economy and ecology.โ€

Mr. Patnaik said, โ€œdeeply saddened to know the passing away of Gandhian and Padma Shri awardee Prof Radhamohan. An economist turned environmentalist had distinguished contribution to sustainable organic farming. My thoughts and prayers are with the bereaved family members and well-wishers.โ€

As news of his death broke, people from all walks of life reached his Bhubaneswar residence to pay their tributes.

In the late 1980s, Professor Radhamohan, through his organisation โ€˜Sambhavโ€™ started experiments in organic farming on a land devoid of its top soil near Odagaon in Nayagarh. Nearby villagers had lost hopes of growing anything on the barren land, but the conservationist backed his instinct and conviction and steadily started spreading seeds.

Today, 500 varieties of rice, 100 types of vegetables and 40 different fruits are grown in the land. If wild plant species are taken into account, the land boasts of 1,000 species.

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